As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Isaiah 53:10-12 (NRSV)
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain.
When you make his life an offering for sin,
he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the LORD shall prosper.
Out of his anguish he shall see light;
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
I recently read a stirring sermon by Martin Luther King, Jr., in which he related the enormous fear that gripped him as he began pursuing his calling as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Threatening phone calls and letters began to come to his home. Finally, one late night phone call sent him from his bedroom, sleepless and walking the floor, praying desperately for strength.
“At that moment,” Dr. King proclaimed, “I experienced the Divine as I had never before experienced him. It seemed as though I could hear the quiet assurance of an inner voice saying, ’Stand up for righteousness, stand up for truth. God will be at your side forever.’ Almost at once my fears began to pass from me. My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything.”
Three nights after this encounter with God, the Kings’ residence was bombed, but Dr. King and his family went forward with the kind of courage that comes from standing with God, and knowing that God stands beside us, forever. This is the kind of courage that rings through today’s text in Isaiah. Jesus exemplified this courage and faith in him gives us this courage.
God of strength and eternal hope, give us the courage to stand up for righteousness, to stand up for truth, knowing you will be at our side forever. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Go with God.